From working on reality TV shows like “The Bachelor” to his current position as a firefighter and EMT-B for the Elwood Fire Department, alumnus Nathan Wilson’s career demonstrates the versatility of how a degree from CCIM can be applied.
In 2015, Wilson graduated with a degree in telecommunications with a concentration in digital video production and a minor in film screenwriting, and he was recognized by the Ball State University Alumni Association with the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award, which recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of recent Ball State University graduates.
While working to achieve his professional goals, it has always been important to him to also take the time to give back to the university in any way possible. He is the current treasurer for the Department of Media Alumni Society, takes time to speak in CCIM classes, and is a member of the Ball State Young Alumni Council. He is also a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for Lambda Chi Alpha and donates to different Ball State related fundraisers during the year including the Day of Beneficence and Dance Marathon.
Can you tell us a bit about your career so far?
I currently work at Elwood Fire Department as a Firefighter / EMT-B. I participate in emergency and non-emergency operations as required. Duties include responding to fires, medical and hazardous materials calls.
Previously, I worked as a field manager for “The Bachelor” franchise of shows and a producer for “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” along with other reality television shows.
How does it feel to be recognized with this award?
I still can’t believe I was chosen for this award. I think it is a pretty great opportunity to continue to give back to Ball State and help those coming after me to pursue their dreams and see what all they can achieve.
Have you won other awards for your work?
The only thing close to an award would be being inducted as an associate member of the Television Academy.
What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
Being asked to join the core team for “The Bachelor” franchise and oversee the rose locations across the globe was probably the proudest moment of my career.
Was there a specific moment where you decided what you wanted to do professionally?
When I was growing up, I would make videos and do sketches with my best friend Al Pritchard. I knew that I wanted to continue to tell stories and get paid to do so. Once I toured the David Letterman building, I knew that I would have the tools to make projects and continue my dream.
What brought you to Ball State?
My aunt, Kim Brown (Wilson), attended Ball State and I always looked up to David Letterman for the way he conducted interviews. Knowing that I could go where they went for school made me sign up.
What was your experience like at Ball State and in CCIM?
My experience at Ball State was great. I loved having the opportunities including the Immersive Learning projects and extracurricular activities that Ball State and CCIM had to offer. I made sure to stay busy and experience as much as I could while at Ball State.
How did that experience prepare you for where you are today?
Attending college while working multiple jobs teaches you hard work. Without that, you won’t be able to achieve much and become stagnant.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Ball State?
I have too many to recount on here. I was happy to be able to join Lambda Chi Alpha and make lifelong friends, become a part of immersive learning projects that connected me to my jobs in Los Angeles, but my most favorite memory is meeting my wife, Victoria Wilson, while at Ball State.
Were you involved in any student organizations at Ball State?
I was involved in my residence hall and worked the desk and did tours. I was in Lambda Chi Alpha and was the secretary and safety officer. I was in the Fraternal Values Society, worked for the Athletics Department, and I was also in BSU Tonight and worked a multitude of jobs for that organization.
Do you have any projects you were particularly proud of from your time at Ball State?
The projects that I am most proud of would be the Immersive Learning projects. “Heading for Home: Adaptive Reuse in the Circle City,” a documentary about Bush Stadium in Indianapolis being renovated and turned in to the Stadium Lofts, was inducted in to Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame. “Indiana Cross Rails: A Transit Choice,” a documentary about mass rail transit in Indiana, did really well and brought eyes and ears back to the need for changing transit in Indiana.
If you could talk to your freshman self, what advice would you give?
Don’t be afraid to put more weight on the bar and make sure to give it your all. There are a ton of opportunities at Ball State, you just have to go after them and get involved.
What advice would you give to current students about life after graduation?
Don’t be afraid to ask fellow alumni questions or reach out for advice. You never know what doors could open from there.
Read more about the other 2023 Alumni Award winners from CCIM here.